Rainbow Report AFL Thu 11 Oct 2012

Well, we got off to a good start last week with with Big Data: but our man from the Federal Police wasn’t happy. He thought he’d just be talking to an ordinary radio show, apparently, and felt a bit ambushed by the presence of people who knew what they were talking about. Sorry about that.

However, this week we’re on safer ground. I think.

Jason Ball has hardly been out of the queer news since he started his petition to get the AFL to take the welfare – indeed, the very existence –  of gay players like himself seriously. He’s in the studio tonight and we’ll be talking about his petition, the AFL response, and where to from here.

Also joining us tonight, the man who kicked the process off with a phone call to yours truly, suggesting that the place where he works – change dot org – was keen to tackle the issue of homophobia in the AFL. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Change dot org is part of the new ‘clicktivism’, as it’s been called, online activism. But what is it? How does it work? And why? Nick Allardice explains.

It seems odd that with all the publicity, and ther huge number of signatures on Jason’s petition, that there’s been silence from other footy players. We’ve got gay soccer and rugby teams, but no gay Aussie Rules teams.

Straight American football players speak up quite pungently for gay rights; so do straight and gay UK rugby players. But not a peep out of AFL Players.  We’ll ask the CEO of the AFL Players Association, Matt Finnis, about that.

Of course, the AFL is a large and complex organisation. Rolling out robust diversity and inclusion policies and procedures will be difficult and demanding. I thought Andrew Denetriou might need some help and advice from someone who’s already achieved it, and who better to provide it than one of the AFL’s major corporate sponsors. We chat with the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Telstra, Troy Roderick.

And Rob Mitchell returns – we could hardly leave him out, since he’s been on the AFL’s case about this for what feels like ever.

That’s all tonight, Thursday 7pm AEST on Joy 94.9 in Melbourne, Australia. Streaming live via http://www.joy.org.au/listenlive , where you can aslo download the free iPhone/Windows/Android app and listen on the go!

You can contact the show while we’re on air via sms 0427 JOY 949 or email onair@joy.org.au. See you soon!!

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)